Outlook Express problems sending email

"I'm using Outlook Express and I can receive emails but I can't send them. What are the possible reasons for this?"


When you set up an email account in Outlook Express, you are asked for the following information:

  • the name to display to recipients of email from you
  • the email address from which to send email
  • the incoming mail server's type ( POP3, IMAP or HTTP)
  • the incoming mail server's address (typically of the form mail.eircom.net, or
  • the outgoing mail server's address (outgoing servers are of type SMTP).

Often times the incoming and outgoing server are on different machines and their addresses will be different, e.g.

  • incoming: pop.esatclear.ie
  • outgling: smtp.esatclear.ie

If you can receive email, but cannot send it, it suggests that the address of the outgoing server is incorrect.

When an error occurs, you'll see an error message not unlike this one:

outlook express error message

Unlike many error messages displayed by Windows, these messages are actually quite informative, e.g. "cannot connect to server at address XXX" and can help diagnose a problem. 

You can find your account settings by choosing Tools/Accounts/Mail, which will list any mail accounts set up on Outlook Express.  Choose the offending account and then you should be able to see the servers settings by choosing Properties and Servers.